Back in the age of dinosaurs when I was a pre-teen, my parents built a log cabin on a lake in BC’s back woods. Dad and the only other person living on the lake, a trapper, cut the trees on the site and managed to maneuver them into place while mom and I did our part by peeling off the bark.
(Clicking on any photo will enlarge it for a closer look.)
My dad was a masonry contractor who had built two homes in Vancouver, but this was unlike those city houses. It was primitive accommodation – just one tiny room, initially with a dirt floor, a front window salvaged from a Vancouver streetcar and small windows in two of the other walls. The roof was finished with a multi-hued assortment of leftover shingles.
Sixty years later, all that remains of that cabin is a shell. A small set of sturdy cupboards, handmade by a family friend, was rescued out of it several years ago, along with the original yellow-print cotton curtains that served to cover lower shelves. My son re-installed both in our own little cabin and we continue to use them in a more comfortable albeit very rustic setting.
Last Christmas I received an unusual and precious Christmas gift from my husband. He had salvaged a damaged piece of donnacona from the old cabin and framed it for me. It bears my dad’s block printing: “This cabin belongs to John McGuire…” and a series of updated addresses and telephone numbers.
I was reminded of this when Laura Best asked in her post yesterday, “What is the most unorthodox gift you ever received?” I think my framed piece of donnacona qualifies. It has no monetary value at all, but it was given and received in love, and to me it’s priceless. As I begin to think of Christmas 2012 and what gifts might be bought or made, I recall a quotation from Mother Teresa: “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
The Christ child whose birthday we will celebrate next month was born so that he could die for us. The ultimate gift of love.
“But God has shown us how much he loves us—
it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!”
Romans 5:8 [GNT]
“Christmas… that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance — a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.”
[Augusta E. Rundel]
I think it would be interesting to keep Laura’s question going, so…
“What is the most unorthodox gift you ever received?”
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